web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Taxi Standstill

Business-Halacha-logo

Share Button

Zvi was working in his office in the city. Toward the end of the day his wife called. “Do you remember that we have our cousin’s wedding tonight?” she asked. “You need to get home as fast as you can!”

“Yes, I remember,” Zvi replied. “I’m planning to take a taxi.”

At 5:00 sharp Zvi headed out of the office to the street. He raised his hand and hailed the next available cab. He provided the cabbie his address and was surprised to find that the cab driver was a religious Jew.

“I usually take the train,” Zvi said. “But we have a cousin’s wedding tonight and I have to get home quickly.”

“I’ll try my best,” said the driver, “but it is rush hour.”

After heading crosstown, they finally got on the highway. Traffic was moving slowly, but steadily.

“Looks OK,” said the driver. “Not bad for rush hour.”

No sooner had he said this than the traffic slowed considerably and then came to a complete standstill.

“What’s going on?” Zvi asked the driver.

The driver turned on his radio. “Major accident on the highway,” they heard over the radio. “Traffic is at complete standstill due to intense police activity. Avoid the area and take alternate routes.”

Zvi looked at his watch. “Is there any way to get off the highway?” he asked the driver.

“The next exit is a quarter-mile from here,” said the driver. “But I can’t budge an inch. We’re stuck in a parking lot!”

Meanwhile, the taximeter continued to tick, adding 50 cents every minute. After twenty minutes, they hadn’t progressed at all, and the fare had increased $10. “People all around were getting out of their cars to look and stretch their legs.

Finally, Zvi turned to the driver. “We could be stuck here another half hour, and then we have to deal with all the traffic buildup,” he said. “I’m better taking the train! I’m getting off here. What does the meter read?”

“You’re leaving me stuck in the traffic to lose more time after I’ve already wasted twenty minutes here?” replied the taxi driver. “That’s not fair to me!”

“It’s not my fault there was an accident,” replied Zvi. “I didn’t cause you the loss.”

“But you hired me to take you home,” argued the taxi driver. “You’re leaving me in the middle of the job.”

“The fare is determined by the meter,” reasoned Zvi. “If I end here – that’s it.”

“I attend a business halacha shiur,” said the cab driver. “We learned that if an employer retracts in the middle of a job he owes the worker compensation for the reminder of the job.”

“I’m not sure that applies here,” said Zvi. “But I just installed the new ‘Dial-a-Dayan’ app on my phone. We can ask Rabbi Dayan.”

“Wow!” exclaimed the driver. “I never knew there was such an application.”

“Just kidding,” laughed Zvi. “But I do have Rabbi Dayan’s phone number.”

Zvi called Rabbi Dayan and presented the issue. “Do I owe the driver anything for the remainder of the trip?” he asked.

“There is a difference between a car service driver, who is paid a flat amount for the ride, and a taxi driver, whose fare is determined by the meter,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “In a car service, you have to compensate the driver if you stop in the middle of the ride; in a taxi, you do not.”

“Why should that make a difference?” asked Zvi.

“Once the worker begins a job, he has a commitment to complete it and the owner has a commitment to provide him the salary,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Thus, if the owner retracts in the middle of the job, he still owes the worker compensation for the remainder of the salary. He can deduct a certain amount, though, since the worker now has free time and, in this case, saves on gasoline for the remaining distance. This is called k’poel batel – like an idle worker.” (C.M. 333:2)

“Why is a taxi different then?” asked Zvi.

“For two reasons,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “First, a taxi can usually find another customer who will pay the same fare.”

“This makes sense in routine circumstances, where the taxi driver can pick up new passengers,” said Zvi. “But here the driver is stuck and cannot pick up anyone!”

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

2 Responses to “Taxi Standstill”

  1. Trivializing halacha is no better than ignoring it

    re

  2. Dan Silagi says:

    Let me add another factor: Taxi fares take into account the occasional traffic jam which is so bad that one is better off walking the rest of the way to one's destination. Thus, the quick, uneventful ride is counterbalanced by nightmares such as this. On the other hand, a flat rate ride is just that. The only exception would be if the cab broke down, which isn't the case here.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukrane, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Why is that?” asked Rabbi Brenner. “What happened to the rule of hamotzi meichaveiro alav hareaya (the burden of the proof is on the plaintiff)?”

“People who want to donate will give anyway,” said Mr. Bodner. “Why can’t I also gain from distributing the photo?”

“Well, I brought over a cake for the simcha,” Mrs. Kasner said. She came in and put the cake down on the counter. “Please tell your mother I’d like the serving dish back after Shabbos.”

“We’re hosting a sheva berachos tonight for my niece,” Mrs. Kohn replied. “I’m already late! I don’t even have a minute to take my projector to the office. Would you mind keeping it overnight in your office?”

When Mr. Fine received the translation he was disappointed. The translation was passing, but lacked the power and command of language in other translations he’d seen.

The day after Purim, Mordechai Freilich received the mishloach manos package with a note: “This mishloach manos was meant to be delivered on Purim, but delayed due to the storm. Please accept our apologies.”

Today was one of those days. Shimshon was standing in the hallway during recess, talking to a friend, when Dan walked over and jumped on him.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/taxi-standstill/2013/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: